What could possibly be more exciting than reading a post about be watching old IU basketball DVDs?
Coach Joe B. Hall...photo from '81 Ky @ IU game
Second ranked Kentucky at 5th ranked IU.
Kentucky starters coached by Joe B. Hall
F, # 44, 6'6", sr, Shelbyville, Ky... Charles Hurt
F, # 32, 6'6", sr, Bristol, Tn... Derrick Hord
C, # 54, 6'11", jr, Lexington, Ky.... Melvin Turpin
G, #20, 6'5", jr, Ft Wayne, In…Jim Master
G, #10, 6'3", jr, Lexington, Ky... Dirk Minniefield
key reserves for this game
C/F, #24, 6'9" so, Greenlawn, NY... Bret Bearup
G, # 11, 5'11", jr, Covington, Ky... Dickie Bea
F, # 34, 6'9", fr, Roberta, Ga... Kenny Walker
]Indiana[/B] starters coached by Bob Knight
F, # 24, 6'6", sr, Indpls Ben Davis... Randy Wittman
F, # 30, 6'8", sr, Galveston, In(Cass)... Ted Kitchel
C, # 54, 6'8", sr, Washington, In... Steve Bouchie
G, # 20, 6'3", sr, Ft Lauderdale, Fl... Jim Thomas
G, # 32, 6'1", sr, Chicago, Il.... Tony Brown
key reserves for this game
C, # 33, 7'2", so, Munich, W.Germany... Uwe Blab
G, # 22, 6'1", fr, Anderson Madison Heights... Stew Robinson
The three point shot was experimental for '83 and the visiting team's option for non-league games. Kentucky declined it. Interesting to see how far out shots were taken back then. The only shot even launched behind the arc was a 21 footer at the top of the key made by Minniefield. The TV commentators, Chuck Marlow and John Laskowski, were somewhat awe-struck by the length of that shot.
Indiana got off to a good start primarily because of the good play and hot shooting of Jim Thomas. The 2-3 zone Kentucky employed in the first half effectively contained Kitchel and Wittman, but Thomas was able to exploit it from the outside and on drives for 14 first half points. Indiana led 32-27 at the half.
Photo of Jim Thomas from '83 season
Kentucky dominated the early 2nd half action and flipped a 5 point deficit into a 7 point lead. Indiana's problems on defense were the inabilty to stop Minniefield's drives and offensive rebounding by Kentucky's big men. If Minnifield wasn't hitting he was laying off passes to Turpin, Horde and Bearup or one of those aforementioned big men were crashing boards for put-back baskets. Minniefield's driving ability was getting the Hoosiers' out of good defensive rebounding position as they tried to help out and stop him.
Indiana had problems as well on the offensive end. Thomas had cooled off, and Wittman and Kitchel still weren't getting many shots. Thomas was still effectively crashing the offensive glass but he couldn't get any of his put-backs to fall. Too many shots were being taken by the lesser options on the floor, Bouchie, Blab and Brown.
Blab was looking particularly awkward and turnover prone and it appeared that Knight was ready to yank him, but all the sudden he made a big play. He blocked a shot on Turpin that lead to a fast break going the other way that resulted in an open, baseline 10-footer made by Wittman. After that, Blab started neutralizing Kentucky's big men and Indiana began working more shots for the most efficient options on the team, Kitchel and Wittman.
Indiana slowly erased the deficit, that had ballooned to 7 by the 13 minute mark, to where it was tied 55-55 by the 6 minute mark. At that point, Indiana substituted Steve Bouchie for Uwe Blab so that they could run their "high" offense. The high offense is basically the Princeton offense with an intent to delay things even a little bit more. Indiana actually used the high offense off and on in its run to tie the game. The Hooisers were effectively able to work Randy Wittman inside where he had a big height advantage over Dirk Minniefield.
Photo of Randy Wittman from '81 season
An important part of the high offense is that it's necessary for every man to be able to handle the ball well. The scariest part is that the center is often the safety-valve and has to go out and get the ball in what would normally be a point guard's position.
With about 3 minutes left, Indiana had a 56-55 lead and was still in the high offense. The Hoosiers expertly controlled the ball for over 2 minutes, but Kentucky was hanging tough and not giving away any back door lay-ups. With a little inside a minute to go, Turpin cleanly popped the ball loose from Bouchie just after he had caught the ball as the release man more 35 feet away from the bucket. Minnifield quickly left his man to go out and complete the steal.
But in doing so, Minniefield gave Bouche an obvious push and was whistled with a foul. Bouchie then hit both ends of the 1 and 1 to increase the lead to 58-55. That was the key play of the game. From then on it was simply a matter of keeping the ball in his Kitchel's hands so that he could make freethrows. Indiana finished out the win 62-59.
Photo of Steve Bouchie from '81 season
Photo of Ted Kitchel from '83 season
A few remebrances of Kitchel. The TV commentators mentioned that he played poorly in the previous Kansas St game, won by IU 48-46, because of back problems. You could also see a trainer or assistant coach rubbing his back during timeouts of the Kentucky game. That was some foreshadowing of problems for Kitchel down the road.
Also, Kitchel had to be one of the most hated IU players by opposing fans. He had that ugly flail of a shot when he got fouled, the stringy sweaty hair and a "Joe-Cool" way of preparing to shoot freethrows. He'd wiggle his fingers and blow on them right before shooting; kind of like what an annoying craps player might do just before he rolls the dice. Maybe his hands were just too sweaty and he needed to dry them off, but it looked cocky as hell.
Don't get the idea that I disliked Kitchel. Far from it, because he's one of my favorite IU players of all-time. It's just that you can see how he would likely be disliked by the opposition's fans.
Kentucky was comprised of uniquely local talent for 1983. Three staters plus a key reserve were from in-state, and the other 2 starters were from neighboring states. This was pretty unusual for Kentucky even back then.
Indiana would go undefeated in the non-league, and after Ralph Sampson led Virginia was stunned in Hawaii by Chaminade, the Hoosiers assumed the #1 ranking in both writers' and coaches' polls heading into league play.